Why Everyone Should Enter the 200 Word RPG Challenge

It’s easy to look at something like the 200 Word RPG Challenge and think:
  •  I’m not a writer
  •  I’m not a game designer
  •  I won’t win, so what’s the point?

But let me tell you something, dear reader: We need you.

Sure, other people might be better writers, or better designers, but no one can bring your thoughts, ideas, and passions to this contest. Maybe you really like cakes, and could write a game about cake decoration. Or maybe you like soccer, and want to write a game where you manage a soccer league. OR maybe you really like DnD, and want to enter your character’s awesome backstory.

We need to read your game, or your supplement. There are awesome, exciting experiences that only YOU can create. Don’t let us miss out on what you can bring to the tabletop. Also, when the challenge is over, all of the entries will be collected into a book, and sold for charity! How cool is that? Without your entry, this book will be made lesser for it. Do it for the children. Or whoever benefits from the sales of the book.

Tips and Advice

 – Keep it simple and focused. 200 words is not a large number of words. You probably won’t be able to make a stock market simulator, but you may be able to make a game about an analyst dealing with stress. Your game doesn’t have to be good at everything, just one thing.

 – Refine ideas, not words. If you’re having a lot of trouble squeezing down your game, you may need to refine or remove some of your ideas. Last year I read quite a few entries that simply tried to remove and squeeze words, not realizing that their idea was tool large, not their wordcount. Contractions can only carry you so far….eventually you have to modify your original ideas.

 – Embrace the pain. Editing is painful. Tearing out an idea that you love, or re-writing your 15th draft can be a disheartening experience. But don’t give up! Unlike editing a 400 page tome, your little entry is your chance to practice editing in a low-stress environment. Embrace this experience, and don’t be afraid to experiment! After all, you’re only 200 words away from a brand new entry

 – Get feedback. Share your entry with the community BEFORE you submit it. When you work closely on something like this, you can miss some large, glaring problems that others may see. You want as many people as possible to see you entry and help you polish up the rough parts. Negative feedback can be hurtful, but try to see it as an opportunity to make your game even better!

So go for it! Get writing! Join the community, help others with their games! This is a really low-key opportunity to explore an exciting and growing art form. I look forward to reading your entries, and if your experience is anything like mine, than it will help you going forward in a myriad of ways!